Country Music Hall of Famer and Southern rock icon Charlie Daniels has died. The 83-year-old passed away unexpectedly Monday morning (7-6) after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. Daniels’ death has been confirmed by his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs.
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Italian film composer Ennio Morricone passed away on Monday (7-6) at the age of 91. And though he will will always be remembered as the definitive mastermind behind the sounds and sonic imagination of the Spaghetti Western, it would be criminal to overlook the influence Morricone had on American country music.
If you’re looking for a solution of how to solve the crisis facing live music at the moment, this is it. And it’s not a hypothetical. Thanks to Granger Smith, his fans, and a forward-thinking city and baseball team, they’ve proven safe music concerts can be done, and done successfully.
For all of you Johnny Cash fans out there, there’s been a bevy of release and announcement activity lately you should be aware of—some of it newer stuff, some of it old, and all of it worthy to be on your radar. Here’s a roundup.
John Prine has been posthumously named an Honorary Poet Laureate for Illinois. Born in Maywood, IL and initially rising to fame in the state as the “singing mailman” in Chicago, Prine is the first Illinoisan to receive the honorary designation, which commemorates and celebrates his writing and musical contributions.
Charley Crockett has released the song “Run Horse Run” with its Spaghetti Western vibe and Johnny Cash cadence, and it’s accompanied by another video that fits into a greater narrative that he’s looking to build through the album. It’s one of multiple videos Crockett shot in the Sierra Nevada.
Due to COVID-19, and then the protests and riots after the George Floyd killing, the Saving Country Music snark machine has been pretty much powered down and collecting dust for the better part of 2020. But there has been as few instances of country music malfeasance so egregious, it would be unconscionable to not address them.
Her name is Ashley Ray. And it’s a name that has ended up in the liner notes of the records of some of country music’s most revered performers like Lori McKenna and Wade Bowen. It’s a name that has been featured in opening slots for Miranda Lambert and Eric Church.
Ever since releasing their debut album in May, the Zane Williams-led Texas music supergroup called Hill Country has been heavily touted by the listeners who’ve been clued into their self-titled record. It just the overall vibe the group captures. And apparently the biggest artist in country music at the moment agrees.
On his newest album ‘New York,’ Rich O’Toole took the extra effort to make a record he could be proud of, not just for where he is now, but many years down the road, eschewing the effort to find that big hit that may launch him into the mainstream consciousness, and instead focused on making the best record he could.
The once Saving Country Music Song of the Year winner and former frontman of Kentucky-based Southern rock outfit Fifth on the Floor is readying the release of a new album, and “ambitious” would be one one way to characterize it. Justin Wells prepared “The United State.”
Cody Jinks rarely casts stones, and isn’t inclined to spout off against pop country unless the situation is really called for. That happened to be the case when he made a recent visit to the dentist, and was exposed to the Sam Hunt song “Hard To Forget,” though he didn’t know the song or artist at the time.
If anyone in country music has ever deserved to have their career unceremoniously wiped and cancelled, inadvertently or otherwise, it might be Chase Rice. Nonetheless, the criticism of his recent concert that has made him public enemy #1 deserves some context, and a deeper discussion.
Taking time between cattle ranching and hanging out in the Canadian Rockies to write songs and perform them for folks when he can, over the last few years Alberta native Corb Lund has gone from the best kept secret of cowboy music to a living legend of it.
Don’t regard this as a slandering. Please don’t mistake this as a rebuke. I bow down to the magnificent power of country music megastar Garth Brooks, and his ability to hoodwink hundreds of thousands of people and make millions of dollars even amidst an unprecedented pandemic and economic disparity.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 Playlist is built to keep you informed on all the best songs and albums coming out right here, right now in country and roots music. It’s available on most all streaming formats. New songs have just been added.
You may ask yourself why we need even more new versions of old country classics. The answer is that Josh Turner is singing them. From well-known standards to some deeper album cuts, Turner is ready to grace them with his signature bass tone, and will be joined by Randy Travis for his first studio work since 2013.
Country artist Adam Wakefield—who rose to popularity through the NBC singing competition The Voice, and also performed in the bluegrass band The SteelDrivers—is facing accusations of rape from a woman stemming from an incident in October 2017.
Envisioned as a concept record with interludes and elements inspired by the Spaghetti Western sounds of Ennio Morricone, ‘Lightning On The Mountain’ and Other Short Stories is an ambitious, adventurous, varied, and diverse effort that keeps you on your toes for 17 tracks.
Similar to the recent move by Lady Antebellum to change their name to Lady A, the concern with The Chicks is not the name change specifically, but the slippery slope it presents toward what language can and will be deemed as problematic.
With “Stick That In Your Country Song,” Eric Church has once again proven himself to be one of the most bold and ballsy members of the mainstream country class, emboldened by the artistic freedom he’s earned, and willing to do something with it as a platform, and a podium.
Amid all the excitement last week of Cowboy & Western artist Colter Wall announcing he has a new album called ‘Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs’ coming out in August, it was glossed over that Colter was also part of a new song with tour partner and Texas country songwriter Vincent Neil Emerson.
The Southern accent is thick, many of the songs are gruff, attitudinal, and unapologetic, and the music is stone cold country. But if all the bluster from these modern day country music Outlaws really isn’t your thing, you might be surprised at just how much quality songwriting is showcased on this record.
If you’re worried about the future of country music, just take a spin through the gaggle of singles and EPs the stunning 22-year-old Triston Marez has assembled, and be assured the genre is in good hands moving forward. It’s the kind of shot of youth traditional country needs, while for once, not compromising on the country side of the equation.